For the 39th podcast in my series, I took a deeper dive into the 8th question found in the Q&A section of my relatively new parenting book titled I LIKE HOW YOU SPEAK TO ME… A PARENT’S GUIDE FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION WITH CHILDREN. The book delivers a real “how to” book for parents, family members or teachers in that it directly lays out a clear and successful set of guidelines or principles for great parent-child communication. This is my first parenting book, by the way, although in many regards, all of the children’s picture books that I created are parenting books as they all touch upon social and emotional learning issues.
The way that my communication guide for parents is structured, there is an opening section that outlines what I call the “10 Governing Principles” for communicating with children. That’s followed by a middle section which is actually a short children’s picture book modeled after the 60+ other children’s stories that I’ve released in the past year that all serve to aid in social and emotional growth for children. In this book, since it’s a book about communication, the picture book section is intended to be a model for a parent-child conversation. Then the book ends with a detailed Q&A section which presents the TEN MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FROM PARENTS (plus one bonus 11thquestion), and it’s that Q&A section of that book that we are currently discussing in my recent podcasts.
In this podcast #39, before getting into that 8th question from the Q&A section of the parenting book, I did take a moment in the podcast to reflect on a recent family visit and how it reminded me that a life well-lived is a life full of love. There are just some things in the world that you just need to be present for to enjoy, and the giving and receiving of familial love is one of those elements of life that we just need to be present to and present for.
Then we take a deeper dive into 8th question from that Q&A and that is… “Can you explain punishment versus natural consequences?” Firstly, if you listen to the phrase “natural consequences,” it even sounds more positive than negative. I do believe that in raising or educating children that the punishment fits the crime. When I was a teacher, if the children in my classroom behaved positively, there would be a positive experience and if the children behaved negatively, we had a negative experience. I would tell my children the truth and that includes the fact that I am both the most playful adult they will ever meet as well as the most serious adult they will ever meet. Their behaviors would inform me how to behave and lead the group.
I never want children to do the right thing out of fear… I want children to learn what the right thing is and do it because it is gratifying to do so. Children have a limited amount of attention, and I never want a child’s attention to lead them to fear-based behavior. The natural consequence should lead to the learning lesson of the moment. If a child forgets their sneakers for gym class, they will learn via the natural consequence of not being able to participate. If you pre-agree on a dinner menu with your child and then they refuse to eat what is prepared, they just might go to bed without dinner, and that natural consequence will serve to avoid that same scenario in the future.
The next podcast will focus on the 9th question in the Q&A section of the book about effective communication with children, so please stay tuned for that. In the meantime, thanks for visiting and for listening. You can hear Podcast 39 here:
And you can find the parenting guide on Amazon right here: